When it comes to designing your own kitchen there are features to think about which are far sexier than the sink.
The look, texture, size and brand of the cabinetry, appliances, and worktops all are far more uppermost in our minds. But the reality is that you’re probably going to spend a lot more time at the sink than you think. So it’s important to get it right.
In terms of choice there are three main types of sink in the UK today. These are:
– Under-mounted sink. This type of sink is set, as the name suggests, underneath the worktop so that when fitted it gives a seamless and neat appearance. This frees up more space on the worktop and, because the rim of the sink isn’t exposed, means it’s easy just to wipe crumbs etc into the sink. The downside is that it doesn’t fit all worktop materials – only those which are completely watertight.
– Over-mounted sink (inset). An over-mounted sink is where the rim of the sink sits on top of the worktop and there’s usually a draining part too on which to sit dishes to dry.
– Butler sink (Belfast). Loved by those with country cottage type kitchens and householders who prefer a vintage look, the Butler sink is a very large and simply designed single sink. It’s usually white porcelain or ceramic and has a large white ‘apron’ at the front. It’s not necessary streamlined with the worktops either as it can often sit a few inches into the centre of the room.
How many bowls should you get?
With the exception of the Butler sink – which is always just the one bowl – sinks can come in different styles ie a single bowl, bowl and a half or a double bowl.
A single bowl is great for washing dishes (although so many of us have a dishwasher these days) or prepping huge amounts of vegetables, fruit etc. But it’s not ideal for prepping and cleaning simultaneously.
This ‘double duty’ difficulty is solved by the sink and a half (or off-set sink) but can cause problems if you want to soak a large pan, for instance, as the larger of the two sinks may not be wide enough.
A double sink provides the most flexibility but it does take up a lot of space which could otherwise have been used for prepping. It’s also more expensive.
Take a look at the different options here at www.waterline.co.uk
What type of material should it be?
Most sinks in the UK today are made of either stainless steel, porcelain (ceramic) or a resin/aggregate mix. There are some exotic sink materials too such as marble, glass, copper or granite but these are out of the average man in the street’s budget. And they’re not necessarily practical either.
So, which ‘ordinary’ sink material should you go for?
– White porcelain/ceramic has a lovely ‘clean and cool’ look and will match any kind of worktop or kitchen cabinetry. This material is also very tough so, contrary to popular belief, won’t chip or crack easily. Metal pans can leave black marks though.
– Stainless steel is tough, easy to clean and, again, blends in with most kitchen colours and textures. It will stain overtime however, especially if you have ‘hard’ water in your area. The bottom could also get scratched.
– Resin/aggregate mix sinks are becoming increasingly commonplace and it’s not difficult to understand why. Made with powdered granite they can add a bit of colour and character to a kitchen without overpowering the overall design. They won’t stain or chip easily either.
Treat yourself to a second sink
There’s a trend these days for householders to have a second sink built into the kitchen island. Some people even opt for their only sink to be here (rather than the traditional site of underneath the kitchen window).
Advantages: Having a second sink is great when you’re prepping food because it means you can defer all dishes to the other sink. It also makes storing and organising your kitchen easier ie if the island sink is for prepping then you can keep knives, colanders, graters etc here. And, if there’s two of you cooking there’s less chance you’ll get in each other’s way.
Disadvantages: There’s no way round it – you’re going to lose worktop space. If you don’t clear up right away, your kitchen island is going to start looking messy and, because it’s in the centre of the room, that mess will be very visible.
For more advice on which sink to choose, as well as an idea of those currently available on the market then get in touch with us here at www.eastlondonkitchendesigner.co.uk.